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US Embassy Officer Kaylea Halpert needs a date for a black tie event at a dangerous foreign national’s lavish home. Preferably someone with brains and brawn who can watch her back. Special Forces Sergeant Carlos Espinosa is more than happy to escort the beautiful, brilliant diplomat—who just might be a CIA case officer—to the party. Their night together only gets hotter when he discovers Kaylea burns for him too.

Date night in Djibouti turns deadly when foreign agents target the couple. But who is the intended victim, the covert operator or the Green Beret? As Carlos and Kaylea use their combined skills to escape their captors, they uncover treachery that could ignite relations between the US and Djibouti—already at a flashpoint—and trigger an inferno.

177 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 14, 2019

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About the author

Rachel Grant

45 books1,271 followers


USA Today bestselling author Rachel Grant worked for over a decade as a professional archaeologist and mines her experiences for storylines and settings, which are as diverse as excavating a cemetery underneath an historic art museum in San Francisco, survey and excavation of many prehistoric Native American sites in the Pacific Northwest, researching an historic concrete house in Virginia, and mapping a seventeenth century Spanish and Dutch fort on the island of Sint Maarten in the Netherlands Antilles.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and children and can be found on the web at www.Rachel-Grant.net.

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5 stars
200 (40%)
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192 (39%)
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77 (15%)
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6 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 71 reviews
Profile Image for Erth.
3,381 reviews
January 31, 2020
I want MORE MORE MORE from this author after this read, a novella that was part of the Flashpoint box set and now a separate book. The story had it all, steam, action, surprises, suspense, kick but characters that took no prisoners and a fast paced read that had me flipping the pages.
Special forces officer Carlos and Kaylea, a covert CIA operator get entangled in a mess that if they don’t get out of could mean a lot of trouble for the U.S. and could cost their lives.
I LOVED LOVED LOVED the easy flow of their relationship, no games, no hiding, no second guessing, no fears between them being together and nothing they can’t work out. I LOVED LOVED the suspense and the action and not only that but the bada*** CIA operative Kaylea wanting to be just like her and owning a pair of her boots.
The action and suspense kept me turning the pages and even though it was a novella, much shorter than this author’s other books, I didn’t miss a thing. It flowed beautifully without missing a beat, short and to the point and left me wanting MORE from this author, the same feeling I get when I have finished all her other books...MORE !!
Profile Image for Mei.
1,879 reviews404 followers
September 6, 2021
Not bad, but way too short and there's insta-lust/love that could have been avoided if the book were longer...
Still interesting.
Profile Image for Tina.
1,742 reviews280 followers
March 1, 2021
New to me author. I like her writing style. Always on the lookout for good military romance.

This is a short but well packed novella.

The heroine is Kaylea an CIA operative whose cover is as a diplomatic attache. The hero is Carlos a Green beret. They are both in Djibouti. Kaylea needs a date, preferably one with muscles, firepower and skills for a fancy party given by a man who is a person of interest in some terrorist activities. They've been discreetly eyeing each other for years. Kaylea jumps at the opportunity to tap Carlos as her date. They both jump at the opportunity to jump each others' bones as well.

But they stumble upon a big plan set in motion that would cost many locals their lives whule placing the blame squarely on the US. They team up to thwart their enemies.

Lots of action and sexy times. The hero and heroine are both card carrying badasses who are good at what they do. A short read that didn't feel short. Also I didn't feel shortchanged by the romance either.
Profile Image for JoAn.
2,047 reviews1 follower
August 17, 2019
Inferno by Rachel Grant is a novella set the Flashpoint world and was adrenaline packed from almost the beginning of the book.

Carlos and Kaylea have been interested in each other for several months. Kaylea finally gets a chance to get to know him better by requesting him as her "date" for an event at a lavish home of a foreign national. These two throw off sparks immediately and it doesn't take long for them to go all in. The plot was quickly paced but never lost any of the emphasis upon the political unrest that surrounds the Horn of Africa. Kaylea and Carlos are both smart kickass professionals that worked very well together. Romantic suspense at it's best!

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Janus Publishing via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Anita.
2,032 reviews138 followers
August 20, 2019
Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.

This novella ends the Teams time in Djibouti, Africa, with a bang, make that two bangs, big ones. The story is sweet, the romance is hot and the baddies get what's coming to them. All necessary elements fro a great story and this one is a great story.

Special Forces Sergeant Carlos Espinosa is counting the days left on his Team's deployment at Camp Citron in Djibouti, Africa, when a car bomb explodes neat the American Embassy. He is proud of the way his native trainees handle the situation and knows that they are well trained and ready. At the blast site he sees beautiful US Embassy Officer Kaylea Halpert and the way she greets him takes his breath away. She has a favor she needs from him and he is more than willing to grant it, he's had a thing for her for months and getting close to her is something he would love to do.

Kaylea Halpert needs a date to an event she would rather not attend. There has been a lot happening in and around Djibouti and the host of this black tie party sends her spidy senses on full alert. She wants some muscle with her for this party and Carlos more than fits the bill. The baddie's plans don't go like they wanted and Carlos and Kaylea are able to save the US mission in Africa.
Profile Image for romancelibrary.
1,039 reviews446 followers
June 9, 2020
Inferno is a novella about Carlos Espinosa who is part of the Army Green Beret team stationed at Camp Citron in Djibouti. He gets paired up with the beautiful Kaylea Halpert, who is a CIA case officer and covert operator also stationed in Djibouti. When Kaylea is invited to a party being hosted by a suspicious Saudi businessman, she picks Carlos as her plus one...in case things go awry. And things do go awry. Understatement of the year haha.

After the pure excellency of the Flashpoint series, it hurts me to give Inferno a mere 3 star rating. But honestly, not many authors can write novellas that leave me satisfied. I wish more time was spent building up the chemistry between Kaylea and Carlos, kind of like the way Cal and Savvy's chemistry was built throughout the series. There was no indication prior to this book that Kaylea even had an interest in Carlos. It all feels too insta-love for me. And because this is a novella, there's a lot of telling where the main characters basically have long monologues about their past. It's great that Carlos and Kaylea found it easy to open up to each other. But I still feel like I don't really know them as well as I wanted to. I still enjoyed their story, but I just wanted more.

Also, big PLUS that this is an interracial romance with POC.

A couple of notes about the brief Muslim representation:
"Salaam" AKA "Peace be upon you" is not just a traditional Arab greeting, like the author makes it out to be. It's an Islamic greeting and it transcends Arabs. For a presumably-white author who has done excellent research on Africa, this is a dumb mistake.

There's also a brief paragraph on Arab Muslim women that doesn't sit well with me. It's great that the author knows what an abaya is! But why not also use words like "hijab" and "burqa"? Do these words scare you? Are you allergic to them? And it's also subtly implied that wearing long gowns/abayas/hijab = not stylish. Girl, please. It's not the first time I've across this reluctance to use these words. The first time was in Pamela Clare's Hard Target, which I had to DNF because it was horrible. Luckily, Inferno was not as bad as Hard Target.


About the series:
I was originally going to do a series wrap up because I thought Inferno was the last book. But based on the author's note, it looks like there will be more! I'm thinking Goldberg is next? Who knows?
Profile Image for Annika.
1,397 reviews88 followers
October 17, 2020
This was a fast-paced romantic suspense and kind of typical for the genre. It didn't offer any surprising or new - well part from the setting; Djibouti, which was a nice change of pace. The minus however you never really felt like you were there. Based on the descriptions (or lack there of) and a complete lack of sense of place this book could be set anywhere.
On the plus side it was narrated by the one and only Greg Tremblay so it wasn't a complete loss.
Profile Image for Christa Schönmann Abbühl.
872 reviews17 followers
October 6, 2020
Short, hot and sweet. An action packed novella to end the series on a high note, with another strong and capable women and a man who is not diminished by her - quite the opposite.
Profile Image for Caz.
2,622 reviews993 followers
July 12, 2019
I gave this a B+ at AAR, so that's 4.5 stars. For some reason, I forgot to post this review when the book came out a few months back.

Rachel Grant’s recent Flashpoint series of romantic suspense novels set in and around the Horn of Africa is one of my favourites in the genre; fast-paced, action-packed, sexy and incredibly politically astute and informative, they’ve pretty much ruined me for all other romantic suspense stories!  So I may just have squeeed a little when I learned the series wasn’t quite over, and the author was publishing a novella featuring two of its main secondary characters, US diplomat (and CIA Case Officer) Kaylea Halpert and Sergeant First Class Carlos Espinosa, another member of the team of special forces operatives based at Camp Citron in Djiboutu.

When Kaylea learns she’s been invited to a party being hosted by Saudi businessman Sheikh Rashid bin Abdul al-Farooq, she isn’t keen on attending.  Al Farooq has only recently emerged as a player on the political stage in the region; backed by the Russian Bratva, he’s positioning himself as a philanthropist and benefactor to Djibouti, and Kaylea is concerned that the traitor Seth Olsen (Firestorm), whom Al Farooq met recently, may have blown her cover and revealed her to be a CIA agent.  In addition, the man has taken a personal interest in her that Kaylea finds worrisome, to say the least.  Seeing her unease, one of her colleagues suggests she takes a date to the party – which gives Kaylea an idea.  She needs someone to watch her back who won’t be easily intimidated – and who won’t shy away from being intimidating if necessary – and who better than one of the Special Forces guys from Camp Citron?  And if that guy just happens to be a certain gorgeous, Puerto Rican explosives expert… well.

Sergeant Carlos Espinosa (Espi) is looking forward to shipping out and returning Stateside.  The mission he and his team have been given – that of training Djiboutian soldiers – has come to an end, and they’re heading home in seven days. It’s been a tough tour and he’s not sorry to be leaving… although he has to admit that he wouldn’t have minded spending a bit more time there if it meant he could get to know a certain CIA operative a bit better.  Kaylea Halpert is his ideal combination of beauty, brains and badass but their paths are unlikely to cross again once his deployment comes to an end.

As Espi and his team head back to camp after a day spent putting the trainees through their paces, they stop in the city to help at the site of an explosion that happened earlier that day near the UAE consulate. He’s not surprised to see Kaylea there – but is surprised when she literally throws herself into his arms and kisses him right out in the open for all to see. He guesses the reason for her unprecedented action right away – “I take it that was for the benefit of that guy in the keffiyeh who’s staring daggers at me?”- and when she asks him to accompany to her to the reception that night at Al Farooq’s brand new palace, he agrees – orders permitting - to help.

This fake relationship isn’t really fake at all.  Kaylea and Espi have been aware of each other for a while; they’re both honest about their mutual attraction and desire for one another and don’t hesitate to act on it.  While there’s a little regret on both their parts that they didn’t make a move sooner, they’re determined to enjoy their night together, as it’s all they’re likely to have.  But Carlos wants more, and tries to persuade Kaylea that they should keep in touch privately to explore the connection he knows they both feel, to explore the possibility of a future they both want; but Kaylea is reluctant, insisting that their current realities and careers are incompatible.

But it doesn’t take her long to realise that she can’t simply close the door on something she can’t deny she wants too.  She hurries to catch up to Carlos after he’s left her apartment – and is confronted with the sight of him being beaten up by three huge men.  In her rush to catch him, she’s left her phone and gun upstairs, so when she sees the men dumping Carlos in the back seat of a Jeep and driving off, she immediately jumps into Carlos’ truck and follows, determined to do whatever she needs to do to free him and get them both out of whatever they’ve stumbled into alive.

Ms. Grant packs a lot of story into a smaller-than-usual page count, but this is a worthy addition to the Flashpoint series, a quickly-moving, tightly-plotted story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats as Kaylea and Espi uncover a tapestry of lies, treachery and betrayal designed to completely wreck the already fragile diplomatic relations between the US and the various governments in the region – and race to put out the fires.  As is the case with all the books in the series, the author’s research is impeccable and she imparts relevant and interesting information without resorting to dry-info dumps.  Kaylea is a kick-ass heroine of the best kind; she’s intelligent, frighteningly competent and does what needs to be done regardless of how little she may actually want to do it; and Espi has her back all the way. Of course he doesn’t like the idea of the woman he’s falling for going into danger, but he admires and respects her abilities and talents; he knows she can handle herself and doesn’t try to stop her doing so. Both of them know their best chance of success is to work together – and they do that spectacularly well.

The shorter length does mean that the romance develops rather quickly, but that’s often the case in romantic suspense novels given that the leads have to work in really close proximity over short spaces of time. The fact that Kaylea and Espi have fancied each other from afar for some time helps establish the connection between them, although it’s a fast progression from that to ILYs.

That quibble aside, however, I was really pleased to be able to spend some more time in this world and with these characters. Inferno is a great way to get your fix of thrills, action, adventure and romance in one small - but perfectly formed - package.
Profile Image for Sharon.
457 reviews15 followers
April 9, 2020
Action 4 stars, romance 2 stars. This was a nice addition to the Flashpoint series, but because it was a novella and not full length, it got RIGHT to it. When it comes to romance/sex, I find it makes less of an impact on a reader than if the characters have a chance to build at least a little relationship first. So the beginning was all intro information, then they get right to a big sex scene, which I wasn’t digging, BUT...

Once the action starts it was super fun. Kaleah is a CIA agent and is very kitted out with kick ass boots that are all James Bond-ed. She and her new Special Forces boyfriend are kidnapped together and manage to bad-ass their way out of a house rigged to explode, rescue a bunch of kids and foil an international plot against the US.

Pretty silly, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Profile Image for Dawn.
937 reviews40 followers
July 19, 2019
Saucy while with action. This is a great novella of this series and I loved the characters. If you've read none of the other books this is a great teaser to get you interested in the series and is a quick read you can finish in a day or weekend.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sally.
254 reviews4 followers
July 8, 2019
Firstly, I would like to thank the author for getting me to love reading again, last few months I’ve been in a reading slump but with Inferno I read it in one go...and Loved it.

Thank you Rachel Grant.

Inferno was a gripping romantic suspense book and I adored Kaylea & Carlos!
I’ve read every book within this series, and Inferno was certainly my favourite, just wish it was longer, would love to see more of this couple!
The romance & suspense was a perfect balance, characters were strong & storyline was a page turner from start to finish, LOVED IT !
Profile Image for Cindy.
2,216 reviews133 followers
June 21, 2019
Fast paced suspense that brings us back to Horn of Africa continuing the conspiracy that's been running through out the series. Along with the action and suspense their are smokin times a plenty between SF officer Carlos Espinosa and undercover CIA operative Kaylea Halper.

Profile Image for Caz.
2,622 reviews993 followers
July 12, 2019
I posted my review of the book HERE so I won't rehash that. Basically, if you want a solid but quick romantic suspense fix (in audio), then look no further. Rachel Grant manages to write a story that feels rounded and complete in a short page count - including steamy love scenes and high-stakes action; and Greg Tremblay's narration is the icing on the cake (and bumps it up into the 5 star bracket).
1,885 reviews12 followers
June 19, 2019
I want MORE MORE MORE from this author after this read, a novella that was part of the Flashpoint box set and now a separate book. The story had it all, steam, action, surprises, suspense, kick but characters that took no prisoners and a fast paced read that had me flipping the pages.
Special forces officer Carlos and Kaylea, a covert CIA operator get entangled in a mess that if they don’t get out of could mean a lot of trouble for the U.S. and could cost their lives.
I LOVED LOVED LOVED the easy flow of their relationship, no games, no hiding, no second guessing, no fears between them being together and nothing they can’t work out. I LOVED LOVED the suspense and the action and not only that but the bada*** CIA operative Kaylea wanting to be just like her and owning a pair of her boots.
The action and suspense kept me turning the pages and even though it was a novella, much shorter than this author’s other books, I didn’t miss a thing. It flowed beautifully without missing a beat, short and to the point and left me wanting MORE from this author, the same feeling I get when I have finished all her other books...MORE !!
Profile Image for Nikki Brooks.
2,774 reviews37 followers
August 1, 2019
Kaylea and Carlos have been circling each other for a while. They both felt the attraction but their jobs kinda precluded them from getting involved. But Kaylea needs backup at a social event with a possible terrorist sympathiser and Carlos jumps at the chance to be her escort.

Bu the glitzy get together soon dissolves into a passionate encounter between these BBB's - Beautiful/Brawny, Brainy Badasses! But when Carlos leaves to return to base the bad guys strike, Kaylea breaks her covert CIA cover to rescue him. The plot is still unknown so they have to dig in further to find the mole and determine just what the Sheikh's endgame is.

Love a hero who is secure in himself and feels no need to belittle his love interest. Kaylea is just as capable and talented as him, more so in some areas. And those boots...I'm not much a footwear worshipper but even I want those damn boots! You can understand their reluctance at starting something they can't finish but they do have a chance and they'd be fools to ignore their potential for a HEA.
August 29, 2019
Inferno is a a fast paced, super steamy read about the "Craziest. First date. Ever."

This is a novella in the Flashpoint series but can easily be read as a standalone.

Kaylea is an embassy liaison/covert CIA operative and Carlos is a sergeant in the special forces stationed in Djibouti. When they attend a party at the estate of a local businessman with ties to the Russian Bratva, they are drawn into a terrorist trap to discredit the American forces.

This was a fun read! Kaylea is a real kick a$s heroine and Carlos is the man you want with you when you take on the world. I loved all the action sequences plus their quick thinking to get out of a jam. I can't forget the steam factor too! And I would love to have a pair of Kaylea's MacGyver/spy boots!

This is great story when you want something quick and light. I look forward to the next installment in the series. 4 stars.

Thank you to Netgalley and Janus Publishing for an ebook in exchange for an honest review,
Profile Image for Lynn.
1,240 reviews7 followers
January 17, 2021
CIA operative and US Embassy Officer Kaylea Halpert has been invited to a party at the home of a dangerous foreign national. As backup, she invites Special Forces Sergeant Carlos Espinosa to be her date. After spending the night together, Carlos is taken from the parking lot of her apartment. He overhears his kidnappers talking about a weapons shipment that they are going to hijack and use his military background as a way to put the blame on the US, but Kaylea witnesses the kidnapping and in helping Carlos escape, they decide to track the weapons shipment and gain intel that can be used to prove the conspiracy.

Inferno suffers from the same issues as all novellas, it is just too short to give the romance and plot time to develop in a way that seems natural. Also, the conspiracy is discovered much too quickly for it to seem realistic. Overall, however, this is a fast paced read that provides brief enjoyment.
1,258 reviews2 followers
June 17, 2019
I purchased this story as part the of 4 book set. While this story is shorter than the others, it is still jam packed with action, suspense, undeniable chemistry between Kaylea and Carlos, and spies. Kaylea is a very strong female character who is able to handle herself in most situations and has no issue with letting Carlos know that she is attracted to him and wants to spend the night with him. Carlos is pulled into pretending he has a relationship with Kaylea while investigating a bombing in Djibouti and then is asked to escort her to a political function.

Once I started reading this book, I didn't want to put it down as I needed to know who was betraying who, and how things would turn out between Kaylea and Carlos. There were certainly some twists and turns along the way that will keep you at the edge of your seat.
66 reviews2 followers
January 27, 2021
I love action-packed books and romance books because they are great for escapism. Even better for escapism? A book that tackles both. But the problem I usually find with these books is that they are usually not well balanced. You get a romance with an underdeveloped adventure plot, or the other way around. Recently I discovered Rachel Grants books, and she really does do both well.

Another thing I like in theory, but not usually in execution, are novellas. It's hard to get a well-rounded plot and proper character development in a short book. Again, "Inferno" had no such issues. Great world building. Fantastic heroine and hero. A steamy romance that wasn't too much or too little. Non-stop action and intrigue. Rachel Grant is my Goldilocks author: everything is just right.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
199 reviews1 follower
August 1, 2019
An excellent and exciting Novella.

I have loved the Flashpoint series. This was a quick dip back into the Horn of Africa and the political issues that play out in this area. Inferno is Kaylea and Carlos story. It was short, exciting and full of delicious chemistry.
What I enjoy about Ms Grant’s writing is her no nonsense approach to sex. So often sex is fast and furious and lust drives people. That was most definitely what drove these two once they connected. Sometimes wooing is fun and at times there was wooing as Carlos worked to convince Kaylea they could have a future.
If you have enjoyed this series you will have fun revisiting this short interesting visit to Djibouti and the US forces.
222 reviews
June 2, 2020
I have loved this Flashpoint series as much as the Evidence series by Rachel Grant.

The detail Ms. Grant provides paints a complete picture and you really feel part of the story.
I have listened to all the books vs reading them and the Narrator - Greg Tremblay - does a phenomenal job. The character voices are just different enough and consistent throughout the story were it is not hard to tell who is speaking. His accents are spot on (to this untrained average reader).

I highly recommend this series and even though this was a novella, it still felt like a complete story and definitely part of the series and not just an add on. Glad she didn't leave Espi out!
2,585 reviews
June 16, 2019
Kaylea is a US Embassy officer and is invited to a Sheikh's party. Carlos is an engineer for the Green Berets A Team. She asks him to go with her and ends up spending the night. The next morning he is taken and Kaylea follows them. She rescues him but end up being caught anyway. They are held at the home of the Sheikh and unless they can find a way out, could be blown up with the house.
Short story with action and sex. Great series that will keep you reading until the very end.

* Read as part of a box set FLASHPOINT
900 reviews10 followers
June 16, 2019
Great book

I loved the action, the banter and more importantly the fact that there was a strong capable heroine. It’s rare. Carlos was also great. A pure Alpha but respectful and sure enough of himself that he appreciated rather than felt threatened by her skills. My only issue is that the book finished on a wait and see note. I would have loved to have it go further and see how they make their relationship work without her or him having to give up their jobs. Looking forward to reading about them more.
Profile Image for Bernadette.
331 reviews1 follower
July 14, 2019
What a first date!

A great little novella to supplement a great series. A roller coaster first date for Kayla and Carlos. An intense personal response to finally acknowledging their attraction for each other, combined with kidnapping, explosions, society events and saving lives and you have an interesting first date.
Some threads from previous stories work their way into this story. It is like watching ripples on a pond expand from a single point. The conclusion is satisfying, while leaving a door open for more to come.
Profile Image for Susan.
55 reviews
August 7, 2019
I loved this story! It’s well-written with wonderful characters and a great backdrop in the small, developing African nation of Djibouti. Carlos, or as we know him from the earlier books, Espi, has been an intriguing character with a great sense of humour and an eye for a pretty woman in the shape of Embassy employee Kaylea. Unbeknownst to all, Kaylea has also had her eye on Carlos, and when the two get together the sparks fly – between them and all around them! A very fast-paced and action-packed story with a great plot, this is another fantastic instalment in the Flashpoint series.
Profile Image for *Dawn.
609 reviews19 followers
September 4, 2020
I liked this story very much because it is an excellent example of an extremely capable woman (CIA agent) whose talents are showcased. She is admired and appreciated by her love interest. Although he is also highly skilled, she does most of the "saving" and he's just proud of her! This is a case of insta-love, but their immediate bond is made believable by what they go through together.

The audio narrator, Greg Tremblay, is quite a linguist and masters both male/female voices as well as multiple accents and languages, i.e. Hispanic and Arabic. Truly superb narration.
Profile Image for MissClo.
274 reviews11 followers
April 8, 2021
I love love love Grant and this story was too short!

I didn’t enjoy the long monologues from the characters as we got an insight into their pasts but I can’t see how this would have been avoided. I’m not a fan of novellas and usually it’s for this reason. We don’t get to know the characters slowly and with time.

I would have loved to have seen the main characters’ relationship develop. And the ending wasn’t as satisfying as I would have wanted.

Still wish there would be another book! Love the green berets
Displaying 1 - 30 of 71 reviews

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